Mahurangi College have participated in the EMR programme since, 2009. Right on the doorstep of the North Eastern Auckland coastline the students all frequented or lived at the beach, including New Zealand's oldest marine reserve Goat Island.
Kicking off the programme in the school hall the students discussed local threats to the marine environment with the help of the EMR coordinator, EMR volunteers and teachers. Students regarded rubbish and sediment to be the greatest threats in their local marine area.
The students learnt safe snorkeling in the school pool before venturing to investigate their local unprotected marine environment at Mathesons Bay. Commonly used as a comparison site for Goat Island, Mathesons bay is approximately 7km's from the marine reserve and composed of very similar habitat. For more information on Goat Island-Mathesons Bay comparisons visit activity 15 HERE
Year 9 students Grace and Saffron who are also students of Auckland DOC marine youth leadership programme led all the students in a rubbish investigation and beach clean up. Over 3 bags of rubbish were collected and students were educated on the damaging effects of litter in the marine environment.
With clear skies and even clearer water the students then went to Goat Island Marine Reserve for their marine reserve experience. Fish identification and species counts were the challenge for the day with many students seeing species they had not seen before.
Grace and Saffron again led the rubbish clean up and investigation with the students at the popular beach. While many of the 300,000+ visitors annually take away their rubbish, the beach and carpark area still contains litter including lunch wrappers and cigarette butts.
Parents, EMR volunteers, teachers and Bruce Martin from Warkworth DOC area office all provided the snorkeling supervision for students.
The next step for the students is to undertake a positive action for the marine environment, and Oh Boy did the students work hard at this task. Over the remainder of term 1 and all of term 2 the students diligently carried out their individual action projects. These varied from fundraising for marine protection through a sponsored bike ride to Tawharanui, to preparing storybooks about protecting the treasured in our seas and presenting them to local primary schools and kindergartens. 200 friends and family attended the joint year 8 EMR and WaiCare information evenings where students presented their work.
Well Done Mahurangi Year 8's!!
+64 9 433 8205
EMR educational resources for teachers and students